7 Apps To Make You A Better Student
Think about life before smartphones. With everything from music to shopping at the flick of a finger, and the whole world wide web tucked in your back pocket, it's hard to imagine what things were like before iPhones. But what makes for great entertainment as you wait for the CTA or in line for your morning Starbucks, can be a real distraction when it comes time to hit the books. It's so tempting to justify pausing your pset to send a Snapchat to your crush or upload a carefully-edited shot of Mansuetto to Instagram, but before you know it, your 10 second pause became five minutes and then another five and you've made no progress. Instead of throwing your phone at the bottom of your bag when you need to study, make it work for you. Here are some of our favorite apps to help make you a better, more organized (and relaxed!) student.
1. The Skimm
While technically not an app, the Skimm is a daily newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning. Witty, concise and informative, the broad range of news bits offered - from international politics to major trending tags on social media - are perfect for reading over breakfast or in the first minutes of class as everyone settles down. The first step to being a more informed student and human being is keeping abroad with current events and the ladies behind the Skimm make that easy, painless and even enjoyable.
It's easy to get caught up in the rush of papers, midterms, psets, RSO responsibilities all while trying to balance a social life and (some) sleep. Headspace is an app that helps me you meditate and de-stress. Just 10 minutes a day of mindfulness techniques for a happier, more relaxed you. Seems easy enough right?
The to-do list to end all to-do lists - Wunderlist is truly the Superman of to-do lists. This app will help you keep cool and collected when it feels like you have a million things spiraling out of control. Organize your lists into folders, forward them to friends or colleagues, set reminders and even print them - all from one clean, easy to use interface.
4. Sloth Task Manager
The hardest part of tackling a mountain of projects that need your attention is splitting up your time to manage it efficiently and effectively. Maximize your productivity with the help of the ironically named Sloth Task Manager. You simply enter your tasks and give yourself a certain amount of time to complete them. When the timer is up, time to move on to the next thing!
There's something so satisfying about having all of your work organized in one spot to check it. Trello lets you organize your tasks by progress so you know exactly which tasks you have completed and which ones still need some time. Invite people, include attachments, and even a message board if it is a collaborative effort - Trello helps you stay on top of all your assignments and responsibilities without feeling panicky.
6. Nike+ Training Club
What good is the life of the mind if there isn't a healthy body to support it. During winter quarter in particular, it can be hard to stay motived and committed to your New Year's resolutions of getting into shape; Ratner can be a real trek and the short, cold days seem made for cozy pajamas and hot chocolate. The Nike+ Training Club app, available for free on iTunes, works as a personal trainer to motivate you to hit the gym or even workout in your dorm. Get tips from trainers or friends, stream workout videos, set a timed goal, the app helps you do it all. Log and measure your hard work to see the progress you've made!
It's good and all to know that sleep is important and we should be getting more of it but sometimes you just need to stay up to finish that pset and rely on coffee to help you get through the next day. SleepBetter aims to help you be more aware of your own sleep habits and to maximize feelings of restfulness even if you are running on less than the recommended 8 hours. Available for Android only, you simply start a sleep session and tuck your phone under your pillow and Sleep Better takes it from there. it tracks your sleep cycles to wake up you up when you are sleeping lightly (so you feel more well-rested!) and even offers a dream diary where you can jot down your dreams from the night before.
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What are your favorite apps to help you stay focused and productive? Have you used any of these before? Let us know in the comments below!